>> China Pushes Pro-Communist Movie Season


china.gifAs the Communist Party leadership unites for its 17th Party Congress, studios and cinema chains are expected to toe the party line, showing only films that uphold the vision of a harmonious society. The State Administration of Radio Film and Television, in a circular to distributors and exhibitors late last week, said that the period around the Party Congress will be known as “Outstanding Golden Domestic Film Exhibition Month.”

Despite a banner year that has seen such Hollywood imports as “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Transformers” perform well at the box office, Hollywood studio executives trying to sell their wares in China were not surprised by the blackout. Periods in which Hollywood movies are barred have been common in the Chinese movie year and are designed to give domestic films a leg up at the box office.

“The interesting part this time is that it is almost a blackout for local-language blockbuster films as well, since only ‘quality,’ i.e. propaganda, films can open during this period,” a Hollywood executive in China said.

The next big Chinese-language film on the horizon, Ang Lee‘s racy wartime drama “Lust, Caution,” was set to premiere September 23. It has been postponed, and will likely get a new government-approved release date at the end of October, after the Party Congress ends.

The congress takes place once every five years to pick new top-level leaders and chart the course of China’s centrally planned economy.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


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